Bowling Ball Bake

I’ve owned this bowling ball for nearly 2 years now.   At no point in that two years had I ever heard of baking the oil out of the ball.  I had a friend of mine mention it to me a few weeks ago, so I did some studying, and decided that it was way past time for me to bake my ball.

First… I needed a suitable environment.   In order to bake a bowling ball, you have to be able to keep a constant temperature of 150-165 degrees Fahrenheit.  I don’t have an oven that will go that low, so I settled for the next best thing… a box.

Yes, my friends, a box, and a heat gun.

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Very scientific.

I did a run without the ball, to see if I would be able to maintain the temperature without much trouble, and I’m glad I did.   In my dry run, with just one vent flap cut in the box.  I reached 172 degrees before I could get enough ventilation to slow the heating process.  A short burst at that temperature probably wouldn’t have ruined the ball, but I don’t want to take that chance.

I moved the digital thermometer from the top of the box, to the side, much closer to where the ball would actually be, placed the ball inside on a towel, and started a 30 minute timer.   Most of the first run sat around 150 degrees, and the amount of oil that I pulled out of the ball was simply incredible.

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Looks like it was pulled from a deep fryer.

I wiped down the ball with a towel, turned it on the towel so that the side that was down would be up, and kicked the heat to it again.

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The second run was hotter, but shorter.  I baked the ball between 160 and 165 for about 20 minutes, and the results weren’t much different.

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After the second baking.

I stopped at two, and wiped the entire thing down with alcohol.  The alcohol took off the remaining sheen of oil that the towel left, and gave the ball a matte looking finish.  I forgot that this ball wasn’t ever supposed to be shiny.

The more impressive thing is that I can actually feel the grip the ball will have now, and to be honest, I’m a little fearful with how much hook I’ve brought back to the ball, I’ve adjusted to it the way it currently is.   I could have probably baked it at least one more time, but it was starting to run late, and for reasons stated, I don’t know that I want to take any more oil out of it.